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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: City

Re: “Smooth Sailing — so Far — for Private Burlington Marina Proposal

And why can't the city operate the facility and make the profits? Looks like BTV's returning to the pre-Bernie days, local citizens be damned.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bud on 07/06/2015 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Smooth Sailing — so Far — for Private Burlington Marina Proposal

So the monstrosity pictured above is only PHASE 1?

How many of our natural features do we need to destroy just to cater to wealthy Quebecers and flatlanders? The slips down by college street seem to be some sort of race to see who can compensate for their shortcomings with the largest boat....the yacht that was docked for a few months last year was bigger than many Vermonters' homes.

The lakefront is Burlington's crown jewel, and we should be preserving it instead of mortgaging it to some developer buddies of the Mayor.

6 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by JamesMason09 on 07/01/2015 at 10:21 PM

Re: “Power Broker: Under Neale Lunderville, Little Burlington Electric Plans Big

This is the first energy article I've read in a long time that didn't have something that made me wince. Very glad to hear about the efficiency efforts, weaning off of RECs, all sounds good. How (or who) pays for the 75% upgrades? That could be fleshed out more, as the weatherization and heating equipment are always the toughest nuts to crack. Do people have to be VGS customers to benefit?

Also very glad to hear the focus on rooftop solar. How about that new mall complex, are renewables being incorporated to make that a green building showcase?

Add solar hot water which works great in Vermont and in terms of reducing fossil fuel consumption makes more contribution than solar electricity.

In addition to the focus on McNeil's waste heat, BED would do well to take more responsibility for the impacts of the Georgia Mountain wind turbines on the neighbors, and also look closely at the biomass harvesting practices there. Turning a blind eye doesn't make the issues go away, and there are people hurting (sleep deprivation) who you need to talk to. These photos of Georgia Mountain were taken three years ago and show the wind turbine site just as the trees were cut; however the other aspects shown were a surprise, the heavily forested areas which are apparently being cut to fuel McNeil…

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by VermontCE on 06/10/2015 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Taxi Trials: Are Burlington's Standards Lower Than Uber's?

"Chris Handy, who helps his dad run Blazer, said of the complaints: "The funny thing is, not one of these are about the driver that I fired." He said he recently terminated an employee for repeatedly making inappropriate comments to passengers. The driver told one fare that the glove compartment was "full of condoms." He asked another, a 14-year-old girl, which Red Sox player she'd like to sleep with. Last Handy heard, some other taxi company had hired the man."

Funny how there are all of the problems that the airport says blazer cab has and they also admit to having a sexual predator that was just recently fired. Sounds like a business that should not be in business, then again it is a Handy operation so we should expect nothing else.

Posted by VTellithowitis on 05/21/2015 at 2:37 PM

Re: “Taxi Trials: Are Burlington's Standards Lower Than Uber's?

Why is it surprising that Uber has higher standards? Uber is a multi-billion dollar company with much more on the line than any small city agency. Uber drivers must personally own an approved vehicle that is less than 6 years old and must pass a rigorous background check. There are large numbers of Taxi drivers who wouldn't meet those requirements. Every single ride an Uber driver does is rated by the customers and drivers must maintain very high ratings or they'll be booted. Everything from the condition of the vehicle, friendliness and safety of the driver to the ease of requesting a ride is reflected in those ratings. Taxi companies have never and will never operate with that level of accountability.

If you want to hear horror stories about drunk, surly, drivers in unsafe vehicles cutting corners and flouting the rules just ask an Uber rider who used to rely on Taxis. As an Uber driver I hear these stories every day followed by "Thank god for Uber, I hope I never have to ride in a regular Taxi again."

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Wyldawg on 05/20/2015 at 12:44 PM

Re: “Taxi Trials: Are Burlington's Standards Lower Than Uber's?

I never thought I'd be typing this but -- it actually does seem like Uber is more regulated than the current state of BTV vehicular livery. Remarkable how VT can generate so much legislation and regulatory code -- even more remarkable how little of it we've got the resources to actually enforce.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Justin Boland on 05/20/2015 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Once Too Quiet, Trendy Winooski Has a New Problem: Noise

Vermont has the same problem Florida has. An older population with low tolerance. If you want thriving get out of the Northeast and head to the Northwest. Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington are thriving cities that work together, are youthful in vision and realize to have a thriving community you must make certain sacrifices. People who live in a downtown area should have the smarts to know there will be noise in a THRIVING downtown. Go move out to the vast amounts of country Vermont is famous for if you want your peaceful uneventful life. Oh, and by the way, fighter jets are cool. Get over it.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Liqmaticus on 05/12/2015 at 4:05 PM

Re: “Once Too Quiet, Trendy Winooski Has a New Problem: Noise

As one of the "young professionals" that live in Winooski (in the Cascades building), I think all of the activity here is so great. Winooski is such a fun little spot with awesome places to eat and drink. I love the live music and restaurant buzz - it's a big reason why I decided to live here! The river is beautiful and can drown out almost any noise - if you want to skip the city sounds but want to be in Winooski, a place facing the river would be the best bet!

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Emily Corley on 05/10/2015 at 11:51 PM

Re: “Once Too Quiet, Trendy Winooski Has a New Problem: Noise

I recently had dinner outside at the Waterworks and commented at how lovely it was that the river drowned out so much background noise. We were able to have quiet conversation for a change! I'm so glad Waterworks has outdoor seating! And am unclear why nearby residents would make such a fuss. It's a lovely addition to the town, was fun watching so many people coming and going from the walking path, even the jet noise was softened when sitting there.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michelle Robbins on 05/10/2015 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Once Too Quiet, Trendy Winooski Has a New Problem: Noise

Having previously lived and worked in Winooski, the biggest noise problem is the fighter jets but at least Winooski is doing something about it and standing up for their rights. Same thing if you live virtually anywhere in South Burlington (not just the newly expanded "not suitable for residential use" zone). Absolutely amazed people willing to spend high six figures & up for some of those houses on the golf course right under the fighter jet flight path.

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/08/2015 at 10:15 AM

Re: “Once Too Quiet, Trendy Winooski Has a New Problem: Noise

Winooski doesn't have a roundabout, it has a traffic circle.
Many people confuse other and older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. East coast rotaries, large multi-lane traffic circles (Arc D’Triomphe, Dupont Circle), and small neighborhood traffic circles are not modern roundabouts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout (UK continental roundabout), go to to see pictures. And here’s another site that shows the difference between an older rotary and a modern roundabout:

If the entry lane has a stop sign, it’s not a modern roundabout.
If you could play a game of football in the center landscaped area, it’s not a modern roundabout.
If the circular roadway has a stop sign, yield sign or signal, it’s not a modern roundabout.
If you don’t have to slow down to enter it, it’s not a modern roundabout.
If you have to change lanes in the circular roadway to exit, it’s not a modern roundabout.
If you can easily drive faster than 20 mph in the circular roadway, it’s not a modern roundabout.
If it has a park for pedestrians, or a building, in the middle, it’s not a modern roundabout.

4 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Scott Batson on 05/06/2015 at 6:41 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

I'm sharing this at my furry news blog, I notice the Vermont Furs have posted a followup.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Patch Packrat on 04/05/2015 at 10:06 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

Considering the furs do not, did not, and never have asked for money, while it may be arguable as to whether high-fiving kids and going into a photo booth constitutes an "act", the idea that they're somehow "different" from all the other masked individuals running around on Church Street during Mardi Gras certainly sounds discriminatory to me, especially without a more substantive reason being provided.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Siphedious on 04/03/2015 at 2:44 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

Why would it not be considered art? The show How its Made featured how costumes like theirs are made, you have to have some form of art to refer in order to create those things. Its an original idea put into a different medium. Art, under the first ammendement is a freedom of expression and is therefore protected. One could argue the mask law in simply in violation of that.

Performing or not, the article did specify they were wearing gold, purple and green - mardi gras colors and beads. Who is church st to say "thats not mardi gras enough for us?" thats totally an person interpretation which by singling out the group is discrimination. Go through Magic Hat's facebook Mardi Gras album. There are plenty of people with masks, even a Frankenstein, a frog, and peacock people. Seems to me they fit right in.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tinker345 on 04/03/2015 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

Let's leave art out of this because whether or not wearing a costume constitutes art is debatable.

The group was stopped on Church Street and told they did not have permission to perform. I'm guessing the rep that stopped them had watched their bit for long enough to decide that the group was not simply dressed up like everyone else enjoying Mardi Gras and felt their interaction with the other pedestrians constituted an act. I can't say if this is truly fair or not. Maybe the rep overstepped the bounds for this particular event or maybe the act was annoying enough people that the rep felt it needed to be stopped. I'd say it is reasonable to suggest when the group "high-fived little kids and posed with people in a photo booth on Church Street," they became more of an act than not.

As the article states, the furry act is really not allowed anywhere in Burlington because of the masks. I'm all for the furries obtaining the proper permission from whomever so that they can perform. If they were a sanctioned act, they'd have their place to perform and people would be free to avoid them as they wished. I can certainly understand Burlington not wanting rogue groups of entertainers performing at events and I don't think it is discrimination to prevent this.

3 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Mark Lade on 04/03/2015 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

I think Mr. Lade forgets that the focus of the article is the fact the group was at a public event where masks and costumes were highly encouraged to be worn when that church st rep stopped the group. Burlington has a mask law so the group can not wear their costumes any where in Burlington. I'm sure if the law was adjusted we would see the group off of Church st and at events on the water front, and various parks.

I applaud the group for their artist expression. Burlingtons Church St has always to me resembeled a midevil market place with its eateries, shops, people watching and entertainers. Its what draws ppl there. The furries with their brand fits the bill because its different. They are not the commericalized characters of Time Square with their cheap knock off costumes. It is obvious that each character is a creation of the person wearing it and I'm wiling to bed those costumes their sporting are not cheap. It boils down to Vermont artists doing their art.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tinker345 on 04/03/2015 at 12:59 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

Let's use a little common sense here. Burlington does not want flocks of people dressed up like critters running around Church Street. They are not performers and frankly, they don't add to the vibe the city is trying to create with such initiatives as no smoking and no loitering. Yes, critters are not as detrimental as vagrants and smokers but there is a bit of a creeper element to them (for some people) and most people want to stroll Church Street without being bothered by smokers, vagrants begging for change, and zany people in costumes.

The city is not discriminating against these folks. They are free to spend as much time as they want on Church Street sans costume. The city is just trying to make Church Street as safe and as welcoming for the maximum amount of people that it can. There are plenty of places furry people can be furry, just not on Church Street.

4 likes, 31 dislikes
Posted by Mark Lade on 04/03/2015 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

It is long past time for Ron Redmond to retire. Following several ill considered policies on Church Street, it is becoming clear he is increasingly out of touch with the downtown community.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Joseph Ryan on 04/02/2015 at 2:52 PM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

As someone who counts himself as a member of the furry community, although he doesn't suit nor does he anticipate suiting anytime in the immediate future, I'd just like to thank Ms. Freese for a very well-written, informative and even-handed article.

My parents have been fairly open-minded about the whole thing, though not as much as I'd like. Mostly they have questions. My mother described this article as "very interesting and quite well-written", which is high praise indeed coming from her.

It's regrettable that the Church Street and/or Burlington bureaucracy can't bring themselves to embrace the same spirit of open-mindedness and transparency with regard to their decisions.

I find it curious that the fact that the Vermont Furs were -asked- by Essex to participate in the Christmas Tree lighting had so little impact on the Burlington folks' decision to give the group a hard time. One might hope that that might serve as a reasonable indicator that the club can be trusted to behave in a responsible manner.

The way the group was treated at Mardi Gras, when they weren't there as entertainers and were among many people obscuring their faces at the event was deplorable, and to me appears discriminatory on the face of it. Current policy aside I feel the group would be owed an apology for how they were treated in that instance.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Siphedious on 04/02/2015 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Free to Be Furry? Group Fights to Wear Animal Costumes in Burlington

Can we stop being jerks to Furries already? We don't ban single adults from parks because of pedophiles. Unless a specific person has given specific reasons to be banned, I don't see why we should treat Furries any differently.

29 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Katherine Isham on 04/01/2015 at 8:47 PM

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